Today's news

July 23, 2002

Patents on DNA restrict research
Research into Aids and diseases such as cancer and malaria is being held up because patents on human genes are granted too readily, a leading advisory group of scientists and lawyers say in a report published today. The Nuffield Council on Bioethics says that although patents covering DNA sequences are often justified to reward innovative science, too many restrict legitimate research. (The Financial Times, The Guardian, The Times)

Government sets out £13bn science strategy
A £13 billion strategy to boost science across all government departments will be announced today, fleshing out the big increases in resources for academic research and science teaching announced in the spending review. (The Financial Times)

Pembroke tops Cambridge colleges league
Pembroke College has been ranked the best college for academic performance at Cambridge University. (The Independent)

Ashmolean fights to save risque dish
The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford is appealing to raise £250,000 to keep in Britain risqué ceramic plate that is one of the few known examples of bawdy Renaissance art, and certainly the most explicit. The plate, by the 16th-century artist Francesco Urbini, parodies formal portrait style - it shows a profile that is made up entirely of phalluses. (The Daily Telegraph)

Poor sense of rhythm could cause dyslexia
British researchers believe they have identified an underlying cause of dyslexia - a poor sense of rhythm. According to Usha Goswami of the Institute of Child Health in London and colleagues reporting in the Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences, infants use speech rhythms to discriminate between syllables and detect the next vowel sounds. (The Guardian)

Giant squid may be a first
A giant squid with tentacles measuring 15m has been washed up on a Tasmanian beach, exciting scientists who believe they may have stumbled upon a new species. The cephalopod weighs about 250kg. (The Guardian, The Independent)

Men in two minds over emotions
Researchers at Stanford University have found that the sexes use different parts of the brain to recall emotional experiences. Men employ two parts to get in touch with their feelings, while women use nine. (The Daily Mail, The Times)

Net’s next generation unveiled
The technology that will form the next generation of the internet was unveiled by researchers at the National e-Science Centre in Edinburgh yesterday. (The Financial Times)

Black prepares to lead Royal College
The new president of the Royal College of Physicians is Carol Black, a consultant rheumatologist and medical director of the Royal Free Hospital in London, and also a pioneer of scleroderma treatment. (The Daily Telegraph)

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